6 “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
We are continuing in our study of John 13-17, which contains Jesus’ longest body of teaching and his most comprehensive explanation of his redemptive mission. As Jesus prepares to send his disciples out into the world, he offers them a series of promises to bolster their confidence and hope in a mission fraught with danger and difficulties (John 14). Last week we transitioned to chapter 15 and learned about the basis for our confidence, namely, union with Jesus. In being united to him, as a branch to a vine, we gain access to new life, growth, friendship and intimacy with God, equipping us for mission in the world. The metaphor of the vine and branches continues in the passage this week, with a particular emphasis on the importance of remaining in the vine and its implications for Christian growth. The text provides both the motivation and the means for growing in Jesus, resulting in a life grounded in his love and characterized by joy.
GOAL OF THIS STUDY
To understand the dynamics of Christian growth.